Cd’A Library celebrates Banned Book Week

Cd’A Library celebrates Banned Book Week

The Coeur d’Alene Public Library will celebrate the right to read what we choose during Banned Books Week, Sept. 27 through Oct. 3.

In addition to exhibits and bookmarks calling attention to books that have been historically challenged, the library will host a free screening of the film “Of Mice and Men” that is based on the book of the same title written by John Steinbeck.

Prior to the screening on, Monday, Sept. 28, Dr. Virginia Johnson will lead a discussion of the book beginning at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

Johnson is an Idaho native who was raised in McCall and attended college at the College of Idaho, University of Idaho, and Idaho State University. She taught English at North Idaho College for 43 years and was chair of the English and Foreign Languages and the Communication/Fine Arts/Humanities Divisions. She has been a member of the Idaho Humanities Council and the Coeur d’Alene Arts and Culture Alliance and is a co-founder of the Pageturners Book Club that meets at the library and of North Idaho Reads.

Steinbeck’s novella was published in 1937, and tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in California, United States. Based on Steinbeck’s own experiences as a bindlestiff in the 1920s, the title is taken from Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse,” which read: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley”. (The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.)

Required reading in many schools, “Of Mice and Men” has been a frequent target of for alleged vulgarity and what some consider offensive and racist language; consequently, it appears on the American Library Association’s list of the Most Challenged Books of 21st Century. The book was the subject of a recent challenge in the Coeur d’Alene School District.

The film to be screened is the 1992 directed and produced by Gary Sinise. It features Sinise as George Milton alongside John Malkovich as Lennie Small, Casey Siemaszko as Curley, John Terry as Slim, Ray Walston as Candy, Joe Morton as Crooks, and Sherilyn Fenn as Curley’s wife. Horton Foote adapted the story for film.

A film of the story was also produced 1939 which starred Burgess Meredith. The book has also been adapted as a stage production.